16 Most Overrated (and Underrated) Jobs in America
Need, or want a new job? There are good jobs to be had, even if there is worrisome and discouraging economic news floating around out there. The fact is, many employers are looking, unsuccessfully, for worthy and qualified candidates. The issue seems to be that job seekers aren’t interested, and are instead gunning for more lucrative positions.
But what if some of those lucrative positions aren’t at all what they’re cracked up to be? That’s the basic idea behind a new report from CareerCast, which ranks both the most overrated and underrated jobs in America.
“The idea of becoming an Advertising Account Executive and schmoozing clients over bourbon and steaks seems exciting but it’s a far cry from reality,” said CareerCast’s Kyle Kensing, in a press release accompanying the report. “For broadcasters, the attraction of appearing on television might bring some into the field initially, but the poor outlook, increasingly competitive marketplace and demands weed out many.”
Those are two examples from the report, which takes a look at the demands of certain jobs and contrasts them with the median salaries and growth outlook. CareerCast concludes that many jobs, which we would consider to be lucrative and exciting, are simply overrated. On the flip side, though, are a number of underrated jobs.
Read on to see the eight jobs CareerCast has deemed America’s most overrated, and the eight that it thinks are the most underrated.
Overrated: 1. Advertising account manager
Want to live out a real-life Mad Men fantasy? It’s the most overrated career path out there, according to CareerCast, meaning those who go after these jobs should “be aware of the stress, competition, industry volatility and high job turnover associated” with them. Either way, a $124,850 annual median salary and 9% growth rate isn’t bad.
$60,520 is a solid median annual salary for an author, but a growth rate of only 2% doesn’t inspire confidence. Of course, if you want to be a published author, it’s never been easier thanks to the internet.
The days of Edward R. Murrow are gone, unfortunately. Anybody can broadcast these days through YouTube or podcasts, and because we’re saturated with broadcasts, professionals are getting squeezed. Annual median salaries land at $37,720 and the growth rate is -9%.
4. Corporate executive
These numbers don’t look bad: $102,690 annual median salary, and a 6% growth rate. But it’s the stress and incredible pressure of C-suite life that make it overrated.
5. Event coordinator
Ever attend a wedding, gala, or some sort of big event and wonder who has to put all of it together? Seems like a major, stressful headache, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. Event coordinators are the ones pulling the strings, and they earn an annual median salary of $46,840 for their trouble. The growth rate is 10%.
Everybody wants to take pictures for a living, but it’s a hard career to swing. You don’t make much, with annual median salaries at $31,170, and a dismal growth rate of 3%.
7. Public relations executive
PR sounds fun, right? It pays well, with a $104,140 annual median salary. And there’s opportunity, with a 7% growth rate. But again, it’s a stressful, time-consuming gig. For that reason, CareerCast says it’s overrated.
An annual median salary of $71,550 and a growth rate of 10% — that’s the life of a stock broker. But be wary, job cuts are coming to Wall Street. According to CareerCast? Overrated.
Most underrated: 1. Computer Systems Analyst
Moving to the underrated side of CareerCast’s report, computer systems analysts top the list. High salaries — $85,800, and growth rates, 21% — fuel the optimism around the career field.
2. Diagnostic medical sonographer
These are the people who operate imaging machines, in many cases. And it’s a good field to get into. You’ll make a median annual salary of $63,630, and have plenty of opportunity as the growth rate is 24%.
Since Americans evidently don’t know or refuse to properly eat, dietitians are in high demand. You can earn a median annual salary of $57,910, and the field is growing at 16%.
4. Environmental engineer
With a climate crisis incoming, environmental engineers are needed to prepare. These engineers earn annual median salaries of $84,560, and the growth outlook is 12%.
5. Financial analyst
Love to analyze finances? This is the career for you — and it’ll fetch you around $80,310 per year. The growth outlook isn’t bad either, at 12%.
6. Human resources manager
Ah, to be Toby Flenderson — Scranton’s top HR rep. If you can handle it, HR is actually a fairly lucrative field with annual median salaries pegged at $104,440. The growth rate? 9%.
7. Medical technologist
The medical technologist field is growing at 16%, and can earn you $50,550 per year. What, exactly, do they do? Basically, you’re a lab scientist. It involves analyzing body fluids and tissues.
8. Physical therapist
Finally, CareerCast’s last most underrated job is that of physical therapist. You can make $84,020 per year, and the growth rate is a whopping 34%.
Check out the entire CareerCast report here.